Page:Jewish Fairy Book (Gerald Friedlander).djvu/50

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34

THE JEWISH FAIRY BOOK

In the twinkling of an eye Damascus lay at his feet. The wind, bearing up the carpet, awaited further orders and the carpet was stationary betwixt heaven and earth. The genii served the breakfast which Solomon ate with relish, for it was now the fourth hour of the day and he had tasted nothing since his supper on the previous evening.

"Perhaps," said he to himself, "I will sup tonight in Media. Meanwhile, I will traverse the world, my domains, and see how life looks in the different lands. Verily I am great and mighty. There has never been any monarch in all time who has become as famous as I am. The Holy One, blessed be He, has given me unbounded wisdom, understanding, knowledge and intelligence. I am Solomon the Wise and I rule beasts, tame and wild, birds and fish, the spirits and demons, aye, all things in creation. I am truly a wonderful King."

At that moment the wind changed its course and the carpet tilted somewhat, so that forty thousand soldiers fell off the carpet.

They fell down and down till they reached the earth. This annoyed Solomon immensely and he began to rebuke the wind. He cried to it in a sharp voice,—

"Wind, return to thy former position, dost thou hear?"

"I hear very well, mighty son of David! and I will do as thou dost bid me, provided thou dost also return